Two big pieces this week in language news.
The first is a look at Dr. Diana Owen, the director of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford on Avon. The article states, “Diana’s first challenge was to rebuild the visitor side of the business, which was achieved firstly by focusing on the customers and their requirements, and secondly by putting Shakespeare’s words and language back into the visitor offer.” The article further details her introduction of Shakespeare Aloud into the space. Now at Shakespeare’s birthplace, there are many more actors, many more employees there to interact with the visitors. In the past, “you could go all round the houses in Stratford, and all round the exhibitions, and not actually hear Shakespeare’s language being spoken.” but Diana Owen’s work has changed the work of the Trust away from merely being a historic presence, and turning it into an interactive place eager to engage the public. There’s also an interview with Gemma Fairlie, the director of Shakespeare Aloud, talking about Shakespeare and what theater would have been like in his time, and what they’re doing to emulate that in Shakespeare’s Birthplace today.
The second big piece of news this week is from Stephen Greenblatt (influential Harvard professor, and author of the ever popular Will in the World). His new book Shakespeare and Montaigne has just come out and the Telegraph is featuring an excerpt which you can read in the paper or on their website. Much of the excerpt speaks to Shakespeare’s use of language and what he could have derived from Montaigne’s essays. As always, with Greenblatt’s writing it is a pleasure to the mind to read his beautiful prose.
That’s the language news for the week! If you have stories you’d like me to cover, let me know in the comments, I’d be glad for the input!